My Favourite Artist - Claude Monet

There are a lot of art forms out there; everything from painting to drawing, sculpture, needlepoint, and even working with fire. Within each art form you will find an artist who has the potential to touch your soul. You'll find a piece that brings you joy, sadness, peace, and anger. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with impressionist paintings. I remember going on family vacations and school trips and I was thrilled whenever I stepped foot in a gallery or museum because I knew I would have an opportunity to see some form of art. The first time I saw a Monet, a believe I was about ten years old. I remember being captivated and staring at the painting as minutes passed. I tried to study all of his brushstrokes. It was as if each one told a story. The dancing of shadows on the water, the way the clouds seemed to float in the sky, the tranquility of the painting. I was enthralled. And then my teacher called for me to join the group.

Last year I was fortunate enough to be living in Ottawa when the National Gallery took on a collection of Monet's paintings. I'd heard about it and was insistent on going. I went on the second last day the collection was going to be there. I spent hours going by each painting and reading small stories of Monet's life that, though I recalled from my earlier years of learning of him, gave me peace and encouragement.

Monet did not live a wealthy lifestyle. He had deep battles against depression and poverty and all they entail. To combat this, he spent a great deal of time outside. He moved to Paris to pursue a career in art. His works focusing on light, shadow, and forms. Monet worked with other brilliant artists to hone his craft, to learn, and to be embraced by other like-minded people.

I wish I could have been alive at the same time to have met this man. To watch him work. To learn from him.

This is what I wish for all artists: I wish that you find that master from whom you would like to learn. I wish that you surround yourself with other like-minded people with a willingness to learn. I wish that you find your peace, your outlet, in whichever way this is. Paint on my friends, paint on.

The Road Bridge at Argenteuil 1874 Oil on canvas